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Alan F. Karr Alan F. Karr [photo]
Secure Statistical Analysis of Distributed Databases 
Wednesday, April 5, 2006
Building 3 Auditorium - 3:30 PM
(Refreshments at 3:00 PM)


Alan F. Karr , will talk about Secure Statistical Analysis of Distributed Databases. A continuing need in the contexts from national security to business is for statistical analyses that "integrate" data stored in multiple, distributed databases. But, barriers to integrating databases are numerous, including confidentiality and scale.

For many analyses, however, it is not necessary actually to integrate the data. Instead, using techniques from computer science known generically as secure multi-party computation, the database holders can share analysis-specific sufficient statistics anonymously, but in a way that the desired analysis can be performed in a statistically valid manner. Three illustrative analyses will be presented: secure data integration, secure contingency tables and secure maximum likelihood for exponential family models.

Partially trusted third parties (PTTPs), which hold some information not available to the database holders, but to their mutual benefit, will be introduced. PTTPs remove or attenuate unilateral incentives for database holders to "cheat" by reporting false data or sufficient statistics.

Alan F. Karr is Director of the National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS), a position he has held since 2000; prior to that he was Associate Director (1992-2000). He is also Professor of Statistics & Operations Research and Biostatistics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (since 1993), as well as Associate Director of the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI). Before coming to North Carolina, he was Professor of Mathematical Sciences and Associate Dean of the School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins.

His research activities are cross-disciplinary collaborations involving statistics and such other fields as data confidentiality, data integration, data quality, software engineering, information technology, education statistics, transportation, materials science and E-commerce. He is the author of 3 books and more than 100 scientific papers. Karr is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical
Statistics, a member of the Council of the latter, a member of the Board of Governors of the Interface Foundation of North America, and served as a member of the Army Science Board from 1990 to 1996.

IS&T Colloquium Committee Host: Walt Truszkowski